Ben Harack

Ben Harack is an aspiring polymath working at the intersection of international relations and technological existential risk. He is co-founder of the Vision of Earth project, the primary author of Ruling Ourselves, and one of the engineers behind the Human Diagnosis Project — a worldwide effort led by the global medical community to build an open intelligence system that maps the steps to help any patient. Ben is also an advisor to Convergence, a research nonprofit working on existential risk strategy. He holds a master’s degree in physics and bachelor’s degrees in computer science, mathematics, physics, and psychology.

Selected works:

  • Harack, B., Laskowski, K., Bailey, R., Marcotte, J., Jaques, S., Datta, D., and Kuski, S., 2017. Ruling ourselves: The deliberate evolution of global cooperation and governance. New Shape Library, Global Challenges Foundation.
    • An interdisciplinary effort to present a new macrostrategy for tackling the intertwined problems of technological existential risk and global governance.
    • Semifinalist for the international New Shape Prize, a $5 million USD prize for ideas that could improve global governance and help avoid existential catastrophes.
    • New Shape Forum participant at the invitation of the Global Challenges Foundation.
  • Laskowski, K., Harack, B., Watson, A., 2019. Governing the emerging risk posed by asteroid manipulation technologies. Effective Altruism Global, San Francisco, 21–23 June.
    • Examines how asteroid deflection technologies pose a threat to humanity and how they can be safely governed
  • Cooper, D.R., D’Anjou, B., Ghattamaneni, N., Harack, B., Hilke, M., Horth, A., Majlis, N., Massicotte, M., Vandsburger, L., Whiteway, E. and Yu, V., 2012. Experimental review of graphene. ISRN Condensed Matter Physics, 2012. doi:10.5402/2012/501686
    • A widely-cited review of the experimental properties of graphene.

Selected blog posts:

Current projects:

  • Developing a bargaining model of technological existential risk that demonstrates that under most conditions, rational actors are incentivized to negotiate and compromise rather than race toward dangerous technologies.
  • Exploring the dynamics of technology races in the Modeling Cooperation project.
  • Examining how existential risk modifies the collective action problem.
  • Further characterizing the little-known technological risk of asteroid deflection technologies, and providing guidelines for how this risk can be averted.


Interested in learning more about the above projects? Ben can be contacted at